Czech morning news in brief: Top headlines for October 26, 2021

Prague wants to increase tourist tax, Dune smashes box office records, report shows warnings about Moravian tornado were underestimated. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 26.10.2021 09:56:00 (updated on 26.10.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Tourism Prague wants to increase tourist tax on accommodation

The Prague authorities want to increase the tourist fee for accommodation services from CZK 21 to CZK 50 per day. This increase is intended to offset expenses associated with tourism incurred by the city. The proposal to introduce a new fee for tourism will be created by March 2022, with fees having been waived last year as a result of the Covid pandemic.

Tourism-related expenditures in Prague have long exceeded revenues. Subsidies for tourism include in public transport, where ticket sales do not cover the costs of keeping operations running. It is hoped that increasing fees will bring additional revenues to support and boost further tourism opportunities. The tourism fee for Prague has long been lower than in other European cities: the current CZK 21 is equivalent to around €0.81, compared to €1.1 in Barcelona, €2.11 in Vienna, and €3.2 in Budapest. In Danish capital Copenhagen, the fee is as high as €19.04.

Culture Dune dominates Czech cinemas with record sales for 2021

Sci-fi film Dune has enjoyed the best opening weekend of any film in the Czech Republic this year, attracting over 74,000 spectators. This number was significantly higher than other high-performing films this year, which have included Venom 2: Carnage, Karel, a biopic about Karel Gott, and the new James Bond movie No Time To Die.

Dune’s success in the Czech Republic has matched performances around the globe. The film has set records in China, the United Kingdom, Poland, South Korea, Japan and elsewhere. The film has had the most successful start of any post-pandemic movie to date, earning $47 million worldwide, almost half of which came from China.

Weather Warnings about deadly Moravian tornado were underestimated, says report

In a report into the devastating tornado which swept through villages in South Moravia on June 24, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute stated that although it predicted the occurrence of strong storms, the degree of the danger posed by tornados was underestimated. The institute underestimated the danger posed by storms by two danger levels, not anticipating any extreme weather occurrences such as actually occurred.


The institute also confirmed that the tornado was F4 on the Fujit scale, with wind gusts of up to 420 km/h. The intensity and duration of the tornado made it one of the most dangerous meteorological phenomena to occur in Europe in recent times. The report said the tornado was the strongest recorded on Czech territory, but that the precise location and time of tornados cannot be predicted. Six people died as a result of the tornado, while 1200 buildings were damaged, 200 of which had to be demolished.

Crime Police bust gang suspected of extortion against Ukrainians

Officers from the Czech National Organized Crime Center (NCOZ) have detained seven members of a Ukrainian organized crime gang suspected of extortion and blackmail against their fellow countrymen in the Czech Republic. The gang is believed to have gained at least CZK 2.5 million through its illegal activities, according to the NCOZ.

A police operation code-named Brigade saw four men and three women detained, with the ringleaders of the gang facing more than ten years in prison. The gang was operative mostly in the Brno and South Moravia region, focusing on blackmail and intimidation of local Ukrainian residents, who were forced to pay a regular protection racket to the group. Millions of crowns in cash as well as two guns were found during house searches as part of Operation Brigade. The NCOZ is now calling on those who may have been affected by the group’s activities to come forward.

Religion Czech Catholic Church makes profit in 2020

The coffers of the Czech Roman Catholic Church saw a surplus of CZK 376 million last year despite economic losses brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Money collections in churches brought in revenues of CZK 336 million, compared to CZK 528 million in 2019. Only CZK 35 million in entrance fees was generated in 2020, compared to CZK 138 million in 2019.

The Church was, however, able to boost its revenues through activities such as food processing, rents and the sale of some real estate. Higher incomes also came from forest management and a growth in value for some investments. These activities resulted in a surplus far in excess of the CZK 29 million gain recorded in 2019. Total expenses totaled CZK 3.3 billion last year, which is in line with long-term trends. The largest portion of this money is spent on the conservation of heritage buildings.

Business Longest ever Tatra vehicle built in Ostrava

A special new Tatra vehicle for the transportation of threated rods over 24 meters long was presented on Monday at the Liberty Steel Ostrava complex. Tatra has been operating at the steel plant in a trial operation to create the unique vehicle, which is the longest Tatra car ever made.

The project arose from Liberty Steel Ostrava’s requirement to move the financial processing of threated rods and accessories from Luxembourg to Ostrava. Assembling a chassis for such long loads was a unique challenge and took ten months to complete, carried out by the Ipex company, from Frenštát pod Radhoštěm.

Events Vrtbovská zahrada lit for 300 year anniversary

The 300th anniversary of private garden Vrtbovská zahrada on the slopes of Petřín Hill in Prague’s Malá Strana will see the garden lit up in festive colors from 18:00 evening. The garden is normally closed in the evening. Normal admission fees will apply for visitors.

Vrtbovská zahrada is considered one of Prague’s most beautiful gardens, with origins dating back to around 1720. Designed by František Maxmilián Kaňka, the garden was built in a Baroque style which it has retained to this day. The garden is dotted with sculptural ornamentations and underwent a thorough restoration and renewal between 1990 and 1998.

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